Cover: Threat of Dissent: A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States, from Harvard University PressCover: Threat of Dissent in HARDCOVER

Threat of Dissent

A History of Ideological Exclusion and Deportation in the United States

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Product Details


$36.00 • £28.95 • €32.50

ISBN 9780674976061

Publication Date: 07/21/2020


352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

16 photos


Suspicion of foreigners goes back to the earliest days of the republic… Kraut traces how different ideologies would be considered intolerably dangerous according to the dominant fears of a given era. Anarchism gave way to communism; communism gave way to Islamic radicalism.—Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

Excellent… Generate[s] important insights into…questions about the history of deportation and removal of foreign-born residents from and by the United States… A magisterial and well-written account… A gripping, expansive story that traces the consequences of suspicions of ‘un-American’ ideologies and loyalties in federal jurisprudence from the War of 1812 through the still-raging War on Terror.—Rachel Ida Buff, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

A must-read for those who care about immigration or the First Amendment. In clear and lively prose, Kraut charts how noncitizens are doubly vulnerable under American law: treated with suspicion as strangers, and subject to expulsion based on their political beliefs. Along the way, she forces us to reckon with a deeply troubling reality: freedom of speech has not been available for everyone.—Robert L. Tsai, author of America’s Forgotten Constitutions

I opened these pages skeptically, and then could not put them down. Threat of Dissent tells the rich and instructive history of efforts to protect America’s borders, first by legislation that excluded unwanted people, and then by legal and judicial challenges to those with unwelcome ideas and beliefs. An essential book for all concerned with US immigration policy and with the free expression of ideas inside and outside the nation.—Alice Kessler-Harris, author of A Difficult Woman: The Challenging Life and Times of Lillian Hellman

An eye-opening and powerfully written book. Julia Rose Kraut demonstrates that though the methods and technologies used by the government to suppress political dissent in the United States have changed over the generations, the fear of radicals—and the association of foreigners with radicalism—has remained constant. Every politically engaged citizen will be riveted by this history of the architects of political suppression and the legal challenges launched by those who sought to protect core American values of freedom of speech and association.—María Cristina García, author of The Refugee Challenge in Post–Cold War America

This is an original, comprehensive history of one of the most pervasive and insidious forms of political repression in the United States—one few Americans know anything about. In a rich narrative spanning more than two centuries, gifted legal historian Julia Rose Kraut reveals how federal authorities routinely barred foreign dissidents who hoped to mingle freely with the public in the ‘land of the free.’—Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914–1918

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